Video: New Soccer Field Highlights Community At SCC

By: RJ Franceschini, Follow South Jersey Intern

OLDMANS TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Salem Community College (SCC), Mighty Oaks, unveiled their new soccer field additions on June 11, in a ceremony for the college, the athletes, and the man it was named after, Gino Mistichelli. 

The event started with an acknowledgment from the athletic director of the college, Dr. Robert Bunnell to the Penns Grove Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8840 who donated an American flag to be flown next to the scoreboard. Although the flag itself wouldn’t be flown until later in the week, the school still donated a plaque for the VFW post. 

A representative from Public Service Electric & Gas (PSEG), Theresa Widger, also spoke on the support from the company for SCC. PSEG contributed to the scoreboard that will be used for every home game this upcoming season this fall. 

“When we started soccer two and half years ago we played in the spring of the Covid year,” Dr. Bunnel said. “We didn’t have a place to play, so we found whatever dry field we could find for practices.” 

Former head coach Matt Murray also gave words to the importance of having the field and how travel for a home game can affect the team. 

“When all your games are on the road, that makes it a challenge,” said Murray. “We saw an impact right away.” 

Gino Mistichelli started as a volunteer soccer coach for the local youth soccer team his son was on in 2014. He was also the owner of The Country Store, a popular place for the community to gather. Mistichelli passed at the age of 52 on July 29, 2021. His impact on the community still carries on through his wife Christine Mistichelli and three children. 

“Gino was such a humble man,” said Christine Mistichelli. “He was full of life but humble. He might have been a little embarrassed by this whole thing.” 

It was a day of remembrance for Mistichelli and a day of celebration for the additions made to Salem Community College soccer. 

“The fact that we’re here kind of brings out what is our middle name,” President of SCC Mike Gorman said. “Salem Community College, Salem Community, Community is literally our middle name.”

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Correction: An earlier version of this article listed the wrong date for Mr.Mistichelli’s passing.